Gibson P90 'vs' Gfs P90 ....... Holy Smokes !!!

benifin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,797
Hi all

Just a quick report / heads up.

Firstly, I am not in any way, directly or indirectly associated with anyone or any business that is even remotely linked to Gibson or GFS .... just a Joe Shmo.

I have a Gibson 2005 TV Yellow DC & Dual P90 Les Paul Jnr - all stock and original .... still to this day, the nicest overall guitar Ive ever had - the P90's are just glorious -a bit noisy- but glorious ..... I run it through my Ceritatone DC30 clone.

I recently picked up an Epiphone Single P90 Les Paul Jnr ....... build quality was OK but to my surprise, the P90 in it was not great - I *thought* / *hoped* it may have been a re-branded Gibson P90 ......... even if it was/is, it didnt sound much like my 2005 P90.

Anyway, after some reading, I was going to lay out about $130 for a original Gibson P90 from my local dealer -then- a colleague recommended the GFS P90 ....... $33 !!

I was hesitant - I mean serioulsy at 1/4 the cost ... anyway curiosity got the better of me.

Ordered it, got it, put it in ...... HOLY SMOKES ...... is this for real !!!!

Other than adjusting the pickup height -and- the pole-screw heights a little ......to my ears, and my bands ears ........ it is audibly indistinguishable from the Gibson P90.

I set my rig up and went back and forth for 30 mins with all different sounds and style ....... I would defy anybody to tell the difference.

Maybe I got lucky and got a "good" one, I dont know.

Anyone ..... just wanted to pass on a good -no- astounding find ...... if your looking for a Gibson sounding P90 this is a no brainer ........

........actually, to put it more directly, you can spend ~$130 on the Gibson P90 and get an awesome pickup .... alternatly, you can spend $33 on the GFS P90 and get an audibly-indistinguishable pickup !!

Ben
 
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fretless

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,994
I've heard more than one positive GFS P90 comment so you may indeed have something there that is no accident.
 
Messages
1,584
That's because a P90 is a P90 is a P90. Just like a PAF is a PAF is a PAF. Sure some will have slightly different characteristics, but the design is the same so they're all going to sound extremely similar.

That's been my experience with P-90s, even ones with ceramic magnets.

I usedta have this cheapie parts Strat w/GFS P-90s and it sounded just fine.

hpim0627pc8.jpg
 
M

Member 1963

Hmmm....i dunno about that. (P90 is a P90) I mean, i have little experience with them but i've tried 2 others in my LP special, a set of harmonic designs and wilkinsons. They all sounded VERY different. The gibsons being the very clear winners for me. The HD were as different as the differences i find in other pickups, single coil or HB or whatever.
 

Matt L

Member
Messages
11,623
If you're not really used to P90s, they can all sound "the same", but there are definitely quite a few flavors of that recipe.

That said, some of the bargain versions can totally get you the tone you want.
 

TattooedCarrot

aka GearPig
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,592
I would say the real tonal variation in most P90's is in terms to their level of aggressive voicing more than anything else. Some are mild and more piano-like while others are more wild and have a nasty grind.
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,794
For some reason, P90s seem to be easier to make "right" than other pickups. I've owned and played many from cheap to boutique. The majority of the cheap ones sounded fine and a few were standouts. The boutique models mostly had a little something extra going on and were overall quieter.
But even a set of overwound Epiphone P90s sounded terrific, so they must be hard to screw up.
My current go-to is an Antiquity. It may be the best P90 I've ever played and at a significant savings over even a Gibson.
 

colinesquire

Member
Messages
1,121
For some reason, P90s seem to be easier to make "right" than other pickups. I've owned and played many from cheap to boutique. The majority of the cheap ones sounded fine and a few were standouts. The boutique models mostly had a little something extra going on and were overall quieter.
But even a set of overwound Epiphone P90s sounded terrific, so they must be hard to screw up.
My current go-to is an Antiquity. It may be the best P90 I've ever played and at a significant savings over even a Gibson.

It is no great mystery-the p90 is a very simple design. It only has 1 bobbin so the only variables for different manufacturers are the number of winds and type of magnets used. A humbucker on the other hand is more complex with the 2 bobbins wired in series. I also find that magnet swapping in a humbucker has a much greater impact on tone compared to p90 mag swaps.
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,316
I'm not a P90 guy but I've had several guitars with them. Currently have two. I have an SG Jr that came with either a Kent Armstrong or a Wilkinson (I forget which) and it is pretty killer. Compared to those Faded Melody Makers circa 2003, it sounded just as good, maybe a little more aggressive.

The Duncan P90s... not bad, but they didn't really grab my attention. Same thing with the Duncan Phat Cats. Not bad, but just not as mean or aggressive sounding as some of the other H90s offerings including the BG Pure 90s and the GFS Mean 90s.

I do think some of it has to do with your rig. If you are playing through a JCM800 or a Twin, maybe those difference won't be radical whereas if you are playing throught an 18W Marshall or a Tweed or Brown Deluxe, how the different pickups hit the front of the amp can make for pretty big differences.

I've had mixed results with GFS. Some of their stuff is absolutely AWESOME for the money including said Mean 90s and their Premium Alnico II and Premium Alnico V strat single coils. Some of their other stuff was only OK. Of course, I've bought some bigger dollar pickups that didn't blow my hair back.

:dunno
 
Messages
1,192
I actually have a set of dogear's on their way to me now from GFS for an Epiphone Wildkat I picked up last weekend. I'm really getting into the guitar, but the pickups have no treble at all. Even after I ripped out almost 12 feet of wiring and rewired it to be a single volume and tone control... I'm really stoked for the GFS pickups to arrive after reading this.
 

vortexxxx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,410
Once you spend lots of time with p-90s you should be able to notice little differences between them. I tried a bunch and the only ones that were able to give me the sound in my head were early 60's Gibson P-90s. The others were great too but didn't quite give me the sound that I wanted. I never tried any GFS pickups so I can't comment on those. I'm very picky when it comes to pickups. I often resort to vintage pickups because no matter what you do you can't fake-age the new ones. There are some amazing new pickups out there too. I love the Stock Filter'Trons but I bought a pair of ultra rare Patent Applied For Filter'trons. I haven't tried them yet but on my endless quest for tone, I need to know what they sound like.
 
M

Member 37136

FYI, the stock PRS-SE P90 and the Godin P90 also sound damn good. The PRS is a little more mellow, but either work well enough to save you the trouble of swapping them out. I've tried a Lollar version and liked it, but I probably wouldn't trade a Gibson for it, unless you were being picky about the under/overwound aspect for a specific guitar. And the Epi P-90 on my late 90s Casino sounded terrific, although the bridge/neck volume balance was a little tricky to get squared away.
 
Messages
892
Hi all
I have a Gibson 2005 TV Yellow DC & Dual P90 Les Paul Jnr - all stock and original .... still to this day, the nicest overall guitar Ive ever had - the P90's are just glorious -a bit noisy- but glorious ..... I run it through my Ceritatone DC30 clone.

I don't have any experience with GFS, but I also have the same guitar, mine is a few years older, same color etc. It's been my favorite guitar since I got it. I've bought other guitars that become the flavor of the month but always go back to my DC Les Paul Special.
 

kidmo

Member
Messages
1,149
That's because a P90 is a P90 is a P90. Just like a PAF is a PAF is a PAF. Sure some will have slightly different characteristics, but the design is the same so they're all going to sound extremely similar.
So, you're saying they're exactly the same, only different?:rolleyes:
 




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